Everything that we experience is the work of the Mind. Descartes put it well :"I think ,therefore I am ". Put simply , we can say that the Mind, through our senses ,leads us to believe that we exist. It is easy but logical to conclude that indeed Mind is the ultimate reality.
However, over the decades, I came to understand and believe that there is a space, another " etat" which is not of the mind, but beyond it. This has been the concern in my work over the years.
The photogram has been a good mean to express those ideas. Photograms are a simple way to register the action of the light on a surface coated with metal salts ( generally silver ). They utilize the basic principles of photography ( chemistry and physics ). I came to call my present work " photogenic drawings " , because I directly contact print my transparent drawings on photographic paper.
American, born French, 1945
The art of Alain Gerard Clement occupies a unique place in contemporary photography. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in photography and a Creative Artist Award from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston. His inspiration as a technique goes back to the very beginning of the photographic process and his poetry as visual image is an imaginative reconstruction of symbolic images which strongly suggest states of spirituality.
After photographing urbanscapes of Houston, Paris and New York, Clement begin in the early 1980's to experiment with means by which to capture a mental image. This led him to perceive his compositions beforehand rather than use the camera to record the isolated event and then to find the meaning out of it. By constructing miniature stage sets he was able to completely control his symbolic environment, which he would then photograph and develop as gelatin silver prints. These constructed images were soon to be replaced by flat cut-out silhouettes and objects placed upon light sensitive photographic paper, the technique of the photogram.
From 1994 to the present, he furthers his technique by placing directly on the photographic paper his translucent drawings , a process he calls photogenic drawing.
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